I might be a little dramatic again, but it is just that: A secluded place, yet in the immediate proximity of the big city Vancouver, just 20 min. offshore the village at Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver. As soon as you walk off the ferry, you’re in the midst of a timetravel – or sort of. The buildings gathering around the ferry terminal look like the stage setting of a 50-ies Western and house such vital institutions as the public library, a visitor center, a bus stop, a few nice restaurants, e.g. Doc Morgan’s, a barber shop, some coffeehouses and a realtor’s office. Uphill, the main road across the island disappears behind a steep ascent, speaking of unknown adventures and findings.
Left and right to the town center, trails branch off into the wilderness that let you explore an almost unaffected nature with crystal-clear lakes, absolute quietude and abundant beauty. This place is all ZEN, if you asked me and enabled me to venture deeply into the real purpose of this trip, study my true motivations and explore my genuine needs and desires. It also allowed me to make friends with the local bus driver, who spontaneously turned tour guide once he noticed the camera dangling from my chest. After having stopped the bus for me at various points of interest – mind you: with passengers aboard! – the least I could do to thank him for that was to invite him for a beer after his shift had ended. I always find it interesting to see, which choices people make in their lives, especially those among us, who don’t boast with open display of the material wealth they have accumulated. I have also met a Macintosh veteran on the first day, who merrily hasted down to the marina to meet me at the pub and tell me his story, too.
So, what have we got: All nature, quietude, outdoors activity and beauty, I’ve always been looking for, as well as enough room to always find a quiet spot, even during high season and with tourists invading the little island. As if that weren’t enough, the place offers all modern world amenities, e.g. broadband internet access and cellular phone networks. Plus, the ferry runs every hour from 5.30 am through 10.05 pm. And to top it off, you have nice, welcoming islanders, unafraid of people coming to visit or even uttering intentions of wanting to stay.
Could I ever wish for more? Probably not. Errr, let’s say, maybe a little less rain during winter, which gets the more sensitive minds in terms of depression and discouragement. But during the sommer, this place must be spectacular, with remote beaches, incredible vistas, a mild climate and a laid-back pace. Bowen Island – I’m sure you’re one of the gems of British Columbia. It’s God’s own country, that’s for sure.